Teaching kids to talk: What to do if you're worried

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If you have any concerns about the rate at which your child's talking is developing, then your first port of call is your local doctor.

They will be able to advise you and possibly calm any fears about your child's speech.

You can also talk to your local health visitor, who will have a good understanding about how babies' speech develops.

Unfortunately, don't expect anything to happen very quickly. Emma Citron says that 'most parents will be lucky to get their child seen by a speech therapist before the age of 5 on the NHS'.

If you are really concerned about your child's speech development, then you could consider getting help privately from a speech therapist. For more information and to find a speech therapist in your area, visit

Most doctors and health visitors will also tell you that nothing is usually done until a child is two-and-a-half, so if your little one is not developing as quickly as others, it's worth waiting till then.

Continued below...

More help and advice

- Advice on communicating with your toddler
- Tips on dealing with speech problems
- Baby milestones

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Lynn Turner

As a practising paediatric therapist, I think it's important for parents to know that they can refer their child directly to a speech and language therapist, or even call their local department for advice. There is no need to go through a GP or health visitor. In fact, many parents that i have met have been seriously delayed in accessing therapy services because they were waiting for a health professional to refer their child. Also, I do not think it is accurate to say that a child is unlikely to be seen before the age of 5 years. This is just not my professonal experience and feel it may put parents of referring their child as they may see it as fruitless. In my PCT we have a waiting list of 10 weeks for assessment. Thank you for reading these comments. I would ask you direct queries to the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT)

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